"Weather cataclysms will occur in Moscow increasingly," said Evgeny Gasho, the expert of the Analytical Center at the Climate Forum of Russian Cities. "A number of scientists have conducted a research: they collected information from different sources and, using the latest data processing technologies, analyzed different options for the development of the fuel and energy balance of the capital and the nearest belt of the Moscow oblast."
According to the expert, in recent years Moscow has made impressive gains in improving energy efficiency. As for the prospects, the growth of electricity consumption is expected to slow down by two per cent annually for the next five years. The situation with the heat consumption is even better: in Moscow it has not grown since 2000. The main reason for this stability is the large volume of new housing development which is built applying more stringent insulation standards.
The main result of the enhanced energy efficiency is the improvement of the environmental situation: greenhouse gas emissions in Moscow are now almost a quarter lower than in 1990, and the concentration of carbon dioxide, water vapor, and ammonia in the city is determined not so much by anthropogenic impact, as by natural factors and features.
"The energy complex of the capital is well prepared for natural cataclysms due to the significant safety of engineering systems and the reservation of equipment," Mr. Gasho stated. "In addition, a set of adaptation measures is implemented after each natural cataclysm, which reduces the vulnerability of the economy in the event of its re-occurrence." As an example, the expert mentioned the icy rain phenomenon, which caused significant electricity breaks in 2010, as well as relatively high costs of repairing damaged sites. "And in 2016, six icy rains in Moscow went almost unnoticed", Evgeny Gasho said.
However, scientists estimate that expenditures will be substantial. The compensation for damage to the roads caused by ice in winter will alone cost 1-2 billion rubles annually. Another 2-2.5 billion rubles will be required to compensate for the damage to residential buildings caused by weather-related cataclysms. The costs of adapting the municipal water supply and sewerage systems to the new climatic conditions will be very high.
"Urban plantations and, sadly, Moscow residents as well, are at risk: 90% of the damage caused by climate changes will be related to the increase in morbidity and additional mortality," Mr.Gasho stated. Scientists estimate that the total amount of damage due to the anticipated increase in the number of hazardous weather events will have reached 220-250 billion rubles by the year 2025.
Photo: from open sources